[Sinn Fein]

10 January 2001

Policing - Implementation plan cannot deliver Patten

The Sinn Fein Assembly member for North Belfast and spokesperson on Policing, Gerry Kelly,  said today:

``The gap between Patten and the Mandelson Police Act cannot be bridged by the current draft implementation plan or any revisions of it.  What is required, what is essential to get this issue right, is amending legislation.''

Mr Kelly added:

``Peter Mandelson cannot be trusted to get this issue right. He has already had one chance to do this and failed.  He chose to gut the Patten proposals and produce his own Police Bill.  The responsibility therefore rests squarely with the British Prime Minister, Tony Blair.

``The new beginning to policing promised under the Good Friday Agreement must be delivered.  No nationalist or republican will accept anything less.  No nationalist or republican will be coerced, bullied or conned into accepting less than what is needed to produce a democratically accountable civic policing service.  The British Government must return to this issue as a matter of urgency.''

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